Daily Archives: March 3, 2012

Winds of change Steelers cut another fan favorite, leader

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The Steelers’ March Massacre, three days of bloodletting for their fans, came to an end Friday when James Farrior was told his services were no longer needed.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

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Steelers To Release Chris Kemoeatu

“We have informed Chris Kemoeatu that we plan to release him of his contract prior to March 13, the start of the 2012 NFL year,” Steelers General Manager Kevin Colbert told the team’s website. “We …

Source: Pittsburgh Steelers : News

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Welcome to Behind The Steel Curtain’s YouTube Channel

Thank goodness for Neal Coolong, Anthony Defeo, Ivan Cole, Rebecca Rollet and all of you who have kept Behind The Steel Curtain humming at full speed. As for me, I’ve been MIA. Why? Well, I’ve relocated to New York City to work full time on SB Nation’s new foray into video.

My job in particular, as one of a six-year tenured veteran of this network, has been to lead and manage the blogger component of our bold video initiative. That’s meant getting a bunch of bloggers to agree to be on camera, purchasing, assembling, distributing and training a wide range of editors to negotiate high quality gear and take a part of their editorial coverage from print to video. It’s been enormously fun moving up here to NY and leading this charge. So, naturally, I’ll be a part of this blogger roll out.

I haven’t had a second to breathe, let alone write and check in with Steeler Nation here. Thankfully things seem to be chugging along well. But, being that I’ll be managing and working with at least 150 of our network’s editors and/or contributors over the course of this year, obviously I best immerse myself as well as we make this bold new plunge into the medium of the future.

Because I work side by side with our studio’s incredible roster of talent, I’ll be able to bring you fun, well-produced stuff throughout the year. But just know, the only reason I’m not grinding away and yucking it up like I have the past six years, is the simple fact that I’ve been blessed with this new gig.

More soon.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Schefter: Steelers Releasing DE Aaron Smith

The blood letting of the Steelers roster continues, as Adam Schefter of ESPN is reporting that the team has released d-lineman Aaron Smith.

Smith played just four games last season, and over the last three seasons has played in just 15 games total.

The move comes one day after the team announced they are going to release all-time leading WR Hines Ward.

Source: Steelers Gab

It looks like Steelers cuts are all over

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette is calling it the March Massacre. In the span of three days, the Steelers let go of defensive end Aaron Smith, wide receiver Hines Ward, guard Chris Kemoeatu, and linebacker James Farrior. That’s 44 years of experience with the Steelers, gone in very short order. The team started the process by releasing wideout…

Source: ProFootballTalk » Pittsburgh Steelers

Remembering James Farrior, Aaron Smith, and Hines Ward

Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Farrior, top, sacks Minnesota Vikings quarterback Brett Favre (4) during the first quarter an NFL football game Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)

It was a thoroughly depressing week for Steeler Nation. Our love and admiration for the men we have watched over the years just slammed headfirst into the inexorable helmet of Father Time. Where’s Roger Goodell when you need him? I’ve got a heart injury.

Many of you have been cheering the Steelers on for decades, and you have seen many players, even ones as well-loved as Hines Ward, given their pink slip. You have watched other players take their place. Many of these new faces have come and gone, a mere blip on the radar screen. Others have had a more lasting impact. Although no one could replace someone like Franco Harris or Jack Lambert, many new players have carved out their own niche in the hearts of Steeler fans.

But some of us don’t have this perspective yet. For those of us who are fairly new to Steeler Nation, this is our first experience of this type of loss. I joined Steeler Nation during the 2009 season, in the middle of the disastrous five-game losing streak. Although I didn’t understand much of what I was seeing other than the scoreboard, and although what I saw on the scoreboard wasn’t good, nonetheless I was hooked. Names I had heard frequently on the broadcasts—Troy Polamalu, Ben Roethlisberger, James Harrison—started to become real people to me, although I still wasn’t sure whether Troy played for the offense or the defense.

As I learned more about the game, I also began to learn about the men who played it. There are some whose names I never knew before they left the team. Other names I knew, but only as objects for derision, or so I gathered from the disgusted comments on BTSC. But there were names I heard frequently and almost always with approval in those earlier days. Hines Ward. Aaron Smith. James Farrior. I came to understand these men as the embodiment of what it was to be a Steeler. It wasn’t just about football.

I discovered Hines Ward had a rule named after him because of his fearlessness and his selfless play. He had changed the expectations for how wide receivers played, not just in Pittsburgh but across the league. But I also learned about Hines’ biracial heritage and his efforts to increase tolerance of biracial children in his native Korea. I saw him honored by the President of the United States. And then during the 2010 offseason, we all – Hines included – discovered that he could dance. During this process of discovery a nation fell in love with Hines and saw the tough, hard-working, and yet tender-hearted person Steeler Nation knew him to be. We saw his determination in mastering a new discipline, his tears for his injured partner, and his joy at winning the grand prize. He made me proud to be a Steeler fan.

I discovered Aaron Smith was considered to be one of the most underrated players in the NFL. As I learned more about the roles of the various players in the defense, I discovered the front three are the unheralded workhorses of the Dick LeBeau 3-4 defense, sacrificing impressive statistics of their own to support the linebackers. And Aaron Smith was the consummate 3-4 DE. But I also learned about the man his teammates knew and loved. I read about the battle his son went through with leukemia, how he inspired his teammates during this difficult time, and his quiet faith. I saw how his teammates joined him to raise money for childhood leukemia research. He made me proud to be a Steeler fan.

James Farrior was different than Hines Ward or Aaron Smith. He was drafted as the 8th pick of the 1997 draft by the New York Jets. Ward was drafted in the third round in 1998, Smith in the fourth round in 1999, both by the Steelers. Farrior’s career with the Jets was not impressive, although it is perhaps not too surprising since he didn’t see much time on the field. He was considered somewhat of a bust and allowed to leave in free agency after the 2001 season.

The Steelers picked him up, and in his first season he amassed 82 tackles in 14 games. Two years later Farrior was runner-up for Defensive Player of the Year, right behind Ed Reed, having recorded 94 tackles, three sacks, and four interceptions. During the 2010 season, at age 35, as part of an unbelievably good run defense, Farrior had 109 tackles and six sacks. Perhaps his early struggles said more about who drafted him than his play, or maybe he was a late bloomer; but either way, Farrior thrived in the Steeler organization.

As I continued to learn about how the defense worked, I discovered that Farrior was the brains of a very complicated system. His teammates elected him captain of the defense every single year beginning in 2004. I saw and appreciated his soft-spoken style of leadership on the field. I also learned about his compassionate heart off the field. With his brother, Matt, he formed a foundation in his hometown of Richmond, VA to address the needs of “under-served and at-risk children.” The foundation helps to meet their physical needs with a Coats for Christmas program, but more importantly, it is concerned for their health, education, and character development. Farrior is directly involved with some of the activities of the organization and is making a difference with not only his money but his example. He makes me proud to be a Steeler fan.

On an intellectual level, I understand these roster moves are necessary and proper. As hard as it is to believe, I know other players will step up to fill the leadership void these men leave. But in my heart, I cannot see how we will ever see their like again. I join my voice to the great chorus of Steeler Nation and thank them for what they have meant to both the Steelers and to the sport itself. Whether they have hung up their cleats for the last time or play for another team, they will always belong to the Black and Gold.

And I bid them Godspeed.

Source: Behind the Steel Curtain

Steelers Restricted Free Agent Tender Offer Prediction

The Steelers have until Monday to offer up tenders to their restricted free agent class.  The class consists of 6 guys.  They are Mike Wallace, Doug Legursky, Ramon Foster, David Johnson, Ryan Mundy, Keenan Lewis and Jamon Meredith.  The Steelers can use one of three tender offers for each player.  They can use the first round tender that pays out $ 2.74 Million.  They can use the second round tender which pays out $ 1.92 million or they can use the draft pick tender which pays out $ 1.26 million.  The team will have to do what works for them.  Here is what I think we will see.
Restricted Free Agent Tenders:

Mike Wallace- It has already been announced the Wallace will get the first round tender and the team will work to get him signed long term.
Doug Legursky-  This was a tricky one.  Right now he is the starting guard.  He was undrafted.  The Steelers would get no compensation if they give him the lowest tender.  Legursky is the not a true starter in the league but he is a valuable p…

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL: Saints kept bounty pool for injuring opposing players

New Orleans Saints players and at least one assistant coach maintained a bounty pool of up to $ 50,000 the past three seasons to reward game-ending injuries inflicted on opposing players, including quarterbacks Brett Favre and Kurt Warner, the NFL said Friday.

Source: post-gazette.com – Steelers/NFL

Reports Steelers Release James Farrior

After ten years, 154 games, 1086 tackles, 30 sacks, 12 forced fumbles, 8 interceptions, 2 pro bowls, and 2 super bowl titles James Farrior’s career with the Steelers has come to an end. Farrior’s agent is reporting that the Steelers have told him they plan releasing the veteran linebacker. The move marks another player cut the Steelers have done to get under the salary cap. Other players released this week Hines Ward, Aaron Smith, and Chris Kemoeatu.

James played 5 years with the New York Jets before becoming a Steeler. The Jets made Farrior the 8th pick in the 1997 NFL draft.  Farrior split time with Larry Foote in 2011. But some expected this move because of Farrior’s age. The Steeler defense has become one of the oldest units in the league. More fan favorites could be cut by the start of the new league year for the Steelers to get under the cap.

Source: Steelers Gab

Steelers cutting LB James Farrior, DE Aaron Smith

The Pittsburgh Steelers will release veteran linebacker James Farrior and defensive end Aaron Smith, the latest in a series of roster moves meant to address the team’s salary cap issues and aging defense.

Team president Art Rooney II announced Friday the team will cut Farrior and Smith before the league’s new calendar year begins March 13. The Steelers announced earlier this week they also will release wide receiver Hines Ward.

Farrior and Smith served as the backbone of a defense that led the team to two Super Bowl victories and three AFC titles over the last decade. The 37-year-old Farrior, a two-time Pro Bowl selection, had 78 tackles in 14 games last season.

Smith, who turns 36 next month, had 44 sacks during his 13-year career but struggled to stay healthy over the last few seasons.

Source: Yardbarker: Pittsburgh Steelers

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